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Sate. Image courtesy of the artist.

The Black Indie Artist You Need to Listen to This Month: SATE

You need to hear SATE.

This new series will feature the most exciting independent and alternative artists from Africa and its diaspora. Black artists are complex and multidisciplinary. Twice a month, we'll introduce the hottest, boldest musicians out there that you need to listen to.

When she was a child, SATE's mother, the legendary jazz singer Salome Bey, used to put her on stage as soon as she could carry a tune. This is how Sate's musical career started and she hasn't stopped since.

Born Saidah Baba Talibah, the artist changed her name to SATE as a way to separate her onstage persona from the person she is in her everyday life. SATE was born out of desire to be more raw, vulnerable and confusing at the same time.


It would be unrealistic, despite her confidence and energy on stage, to believe that SATE is not affected by a lack of representation in a scene that is still overwhelmingly white and male. She recalls that every time she's on stage, "people feel the need to feel shock that I—a black woman—like and do rock music. It's funny most times, and then it's just hella frustrating."

At some point, SATE even wondered whether she truly deserved to perform as a rock act and if she really did belong to this world. Thankfully, she remembered, "the foundations and inspirations that are Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Big Mama Thornton... and I'm part of our ongoing legacy. So I keep walking through the fire in spite of the challenges."

The Toronto-based musician and singer's music is a savvy mix of rock and funk. Growing up, she was very much inspired by her mother and the diversity of music she'd come across while developing her own personal influences like Funkadelic, Fishbone, Living Color, Stevie Wonder and Prince.

SATE is not afraid of taking risks and being vulnerable. In her song "Mama Talk to Me," which she holds dear to her heart, she opens up about the changes in her life following her mother's decision to retire in 2011, and the pain of losing her to dementia and seeing a loved one not being themselves anymore.

"Mama Talk To Me" is featured on her first album, Red Black and Blue, released in 2016 after a PledgeMusic campaign, in which musicians use crowdfunding to raise money for their releases. The twist was that the public had a say in the songs selected, a process that SATE was completely fine with it. After all, they contributed to the piece. She even donated part of the money to a a charity dealing with alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The album's concept is divided in three parts, each one representing animals: the robin (which symbolizes renewal ), the panther (power), and the butterfly (transformation). Red Black and Blue is both SATE's birth and Saidah Baba Talibah's death, an album that starts with endings but yet, is the first of many more to come.

SATE is a artist who hates being told what she should do. She's punk in the purest sense of the world and she encourages her audience, through songs like "Warrior," to set fire what to what holds them down and take their own power back. Unsurprisingly, her songwriting process is just as free as she is: "It depends. Sometimes I'm coming in with a melody idea or I may just sit at the piano. I really let it flow, cause when it's forced it's no fun."

She's currently back to songwriting after a successful first European tour last summer where she played in the UK and France, her second home, as she calls it.

SATE is hungry. Hungry to give more of her music to the world, to empower her audience and to communicate her feelings, thoughts and experiences through her songs, to start a revolution.

What's next is her upcoming album The Fool. Eight songs have already been picked and, following the reception of her previous crowdfunding campaign, she has decided to share her recording process again by showing the whole production process on social media.

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Senegalese-American Actress Anna Diop Set to Join Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke In Jordan Peele's 'Us'

The rising actress will star alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the upcoming social thriller.

In May, it was announced that Black Panther costars Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke would star in Us, the highly-anticipated follow-up to director, writer and comedian Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out.

Now, we've learned more exciting news about the casting for the upcoming social thriller. Deadline reports that Senegalese-American actress, Anna Diop has also signed on to star in the film. The actress wrote that she was "beyond words and beyond excited," about the news in an Instagram post.

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A Sci-Fi Film About an Otherworldly, Coltan-Rich Village In Burundi By Saul Williams Is In The Works

We catch up with the artist, poet and filmmaker to get the scoop on his film in development, 'Neptune Frost.'

MartyrLoserKing is Saul Williams' overarching multimedia project that he began 5 years ago, consisting of a graphic novel, three albums and a musical.

The musical arm of the project—Neptune Frost—has been in development, where Williams shot the trailer in Rwanda and launched a Kickstarter to raise funds to begin production of the full-length film, which he hopes to begin in 2019.

Neptune Frost is set in a Burundian village made of recycled computer parts. This village is also home to what the synopsis calls, "the world's most subversive hacking collective." The sci-fi film tells the love story between an intersex runaway and a coltan miner.

The plot continues:

While Western intelligence looks to the usual suspects, a Dogon avatar whispers through a dream to reveal the coded mysteries of Sirius and the stars to an escaped coltan miner and an intersex runaway seeking refuge from a binary norm, revealing her divine circuitry as the eye of the storm. When their connection sparks the MartyrLoserKing is born.

MartyrLoserKing, the elusive African hacker whose team of "losers" and outcasts ignite the imagination of the world's most "connected" generation through deep space, deep web penetration. A virtual hero for a world caught in perpetual analogue exploitation. Neptune Frost is the MartyrLoserKing.

Watch the trailer below.

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Still from 'Child of the World'

Falz Speaks Out Against Sexual Assault In His New Video 'Child of the World'

In his latest music video, the Nigerian rapper tackles rape, HIV/AIDS and suicide.

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In "Child of the World," Falz addresses the pervasiveness of sexual abuse against women and the harmful effects it can have on a victim's life.

In the music video, which stars Nigerian actors Toyin Abraham and BamBam—who play mother and daughter respectivelyFalz tells the story of a young woman who was on a promising career path, which gets rocked when she is suddenly raped by an authoritative male figure. She eventually contracts HIV/AIDS, and she considers suicide as a result. Thankfully, the young woman is able to put herself back on the road to recovery, and she goes on to help educate others about HIV/AIDS and suicide prevention.

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